Welcome back to Mercedes’ Marketplace Madness! As you know, I love picking up dirt-cheap cars and motorcycles and then telling you lovely readers about the dumb things that I do with them. Since I’m shopping all of the time, I always have an evolving list of vehicles for sale. Here’s what I’ve been obsessed with lately.
This week features a couple of homologation specials, affordable American iron, and some variations on cars that you may have enjoyed in a video game or two before.
Here’s what I’m looking at this week!
1986 Mercury Capri ASC/McLaren – $8,500
Here’s an obscure performance car that probably sits at the back of your mind, if you even remember it. According to Hemmings, from 1984 to 1990 the American Sunroof Company and McLaren Engines built 2,678 Euro-style Ford Fox body pony cars. Just 874 of those were based on the Mercury Capri, of which about 552 or 556 convertibles were built depending on who you ask.
As the story goes, engineer Peter Muscat’s wife worked at Ford and drove a Mercedes SL. When parking at a ford Factory, she was forced to put her Mercedes in a lot far away from the door and walk in. Muscat was inspired to take a Mustang, cut off its roof, and pitch it to Ford. Since a convertible Mustang was already in the works, Ford reportedly pointed Muscat to Mercury, which had the upscale Capri. ASC/McLaren already had a cosmetics package for the Capri, but there wasn’t a convertible version.
Mercury approved of Muscat’s idea and American Sunroof Company decided to add a convertible to the existing ASC/McLaren Capri production. The roof was cut, the A-pillar bent back about 2.5 inches, and the body’s structure was reinforced. In 1986, a Mercury Capri set you back $10,223 while the ASC/McLaren convertible version set you back an additional $12,059. That made it about $6,000 more expensive than a Mustang GT convertible.
Buying a Capri ASC/McLaren netted you leather Recaro seats, a Haartz-Cambria cloth top, wood trim, a body kit, McLaren wheels, light covers, a McLaren sport suspension, custom graphics, a Kenwood audio system, and even a radar detector.
This particular Mercury Capri ASC/McLaren had apparently spent 20 years in a junkyard before being rescued. New parts include brakes, fenders, windshield, seats, and more. Power comes from a 5.0-liter V8 making 200 horsepower and 285 lb-ft torque. It’s $8,500 by the seller in Marietta, Georgia with 114,000 miles. Listing courtesy of Obscure Cars for Sale.
1953 Chevrolet Sedan Delivery – $33,000
The sedan delivery is a type of vehicle we don’t see much of anymore. A sedan delivery is basically part car and part truck. They’re delivery vehicles riding on a car chassis and with a car-derived body. The idea of a car that delivers goods dates back over a century, with a notable delivery car being the 1904 Oldsmobile Pie Wagon. However, some credit Chevy for the body style for a design launched in 1928. Old Cars Weekly notes that the height of the sedan delivery was in the 1950s when Chevy sold 23,045 in 1950 and Ford cranked out 10,575 units in 1953.
This Sedan Delivery was built in 1953 as part of Chevy’s One-Fifty line riding on GM’s A-body. These were largely inexpensive fleet cars that were sold to governments and businesses, but they also made it into the hands of hot-rodders and those just wanting cheap cars.
Power comes from a 235 cubic inch Thrift Master six making 93 HP, transmitted to the rear wheels through a three-speed automatic. The selling dealership says that the vehicle has been restored and that the Coke logos on the sides are magnetic and thus, easily removed. It’s $33,000 from Country Classic Cars in Staunton, Illinois with 87,487 miles.
1995 Audi S6 Avant – $13,499
As Hagerty writes, in the early 1990s, Audi began to revamp its lineup after the fallout of its infamous Audi 5000 unintended acceleration fiasco. Sales fell from 74,061 units in 1985 to just 12,283 units in 1991. One way Audi pulled itself back from the ledge was by trickling racing technology down to the street. The automaker brought the S4 to America in 1992, enticing buyers with its 227 HP 258 lb-ft torque 2.2-liter turbo five power, manual transmission, and Quattro all-wheel-drive. In 1995, Audi’s then-new naming strategy meant that the S4 became the S6.
The “UrS6” or original S6 as some would call it, was the same under the hood. That engine was good for a 60 mph sprint in 6.1 seconds, which would be respectable today. The engine was bolted to a wonderful wagon body with a luxurious interior. These cars had front and rear heated seats, wood trim, a rear-facing seat, and a locking rear differential. Yep, these cars use a Torsen-based Quattro system that normally splits power evenly between the axles. In 2017, it was estimated by Audi that there are about 459 of these in America.
This one has mild modifications including a tune that kicks power output up to 280 HP and 300 lb-ft torque. The seller notes imperfections like rust bubbling on a fender, headliner sag, and a tear in the dash. It’s $13,499 by the seller in Woodstock, Georgia with 221,000 miles.
1982 Honda CBX – $14,000
Here’s one of my all-time dream motorcycles.
The 1970s and 1980s were a time when motorcycle technology flourished. Manufacturers pulled more power out of their engines by way of higher cylinder counts and occasionally, forced induction. The Honda CBX was one of those creations. Its 1,047cc six had 24 valves and six carburetors, and it cranked out 105 horsepower. Despite its appearance, the engine was just two inches wider than the CB750 of the era. Exact production numbers aren’t known, but the Vintage Japanese Motorcycle Club estimates that 38,079 units were made for Japan with another 3,150 reaching America
The seller of this one claims to be the original owner and it appears that they took good care of it over the years. It’s in original condition, save for the Corbin seat (the original seat is included). Caring for six carbs does sound like a total nightmare. I hated dealing with four on some of the bikes I used to own. However, if you can put up with it, you’ll get an unforgettable soundtrack:
This Honda CBX is $14,000 by the seller in Farmington, Minnesota with 17,900 miles.
2002 Lexus IS 300 SportCross 5-Speed – $14,192
This Lexus IS is not just a sporty luxury wagon, but it comes with a five-speed manual. And despite 136,701 miles on the odometer, the seller says that it’s rust-free. The IS itself was an important car for Lexus:
This is the car that initiated Toyota President and master driver, Akio Toyoda, into the exhilaration of performance driving, and tapped into the desire for an emotional feel behind the wheel. In balancing a sports car with a sedan, the IS created an ideal synergy for a new kind of Lexus guest.
In the early 2000s, a lifestyle shift was well underway, and Lexus adapted the performance-fueled IS to meet it. Luxury sedans were at the heart of the culture just as a wave of SUV’s was beginning to swell. Adding cargo space without sacrificing dynamism is part of the core ethos that Lexus holds true to today. The adventurous spirit of the IS 300 SportCross combined the aesthetic of a wagon with the compact vigor of a sedan for a new experience of the roads more taken.
Remove all of the marketing buzzwords and what Lexus is trying to say is simple. Lexus saw SUVs becoming popular in the 2000s. The automaker had the IS, a sport sedan meant to fight the European competition. To create the SportCross, Lexus took the IS and gave it a long roof and thus, more space.
North American buyers of the IS 300 SportCross had just one transmission choice: an automatic. Enthusiasts swap in an OEM manual transmission and that’s what you’re looking at here. It has a W55 5-speed manual transmission conversion, a Torsen limited-slip differential, and mild mods like an aftermarket catless header, Y-pipe, Volk Racing SE37K wheels, a Toyota RAV4 roof rack, and more. Power comes from a 3.0-liter six making 215 HP and 218 lb-ft torque, delivered to the rear wheels.
This one is $19,500 CAD ($14,192 USD) from the seller in Richmond Hill, Ontario.
1963 Dodge Dart GT – $9,495
The Dodge Dart was introduced in the 1960 model year, replacing Plymouths in the mid-size segment. As Mac’s Motor City Garage explains, Chrysler’s dealer network was a bit of a mess back then with Plymouths sharing floor space with Chrysler, Dodge, and DeSoto. Plymouth was decoupled from Dodge, leaving the latter without a low-priced entry. That’s where the Dart came in, with its Plymouth 118-inch wheelbase chassis. Market research apparently suggested that Zipp should have been the car’s name, but Dodge landed on Dart.
Chrysler says that the Dart went on to be a successful compact, selling 323,000 units in its first year alone. In 1963, when this car was made, the Dart moved to the Dodge A-body compact platform and rode on a 111-inch wheelbase. Three trims were available with the entry-level 170, mid-range 270, and sporty GT.
This GT sports a 225 cubic inch slant six making 145 HP. The seller says that the engine had a top-end rebuild, as did the push-button automatic transmission. It also comes with new brakes, a new radiator, and new ignition parts. The seller notes minor rust on the chrome and a small dent on the trunk. It’s $9,495 by the seller in Mission Viejo, California.
1990 Mercedes-Benz 190E Evolution II – Inquire
The Mercedes-Benz W201 is a car beloved by some enthusiasts for its 1980s looks and low costs of entry. I’ve seen W201s as race cars, rally cars, and Gambler 500 rigs. I’ve also seen these used to teach younger gearheads how to wrench. The holy grail W201 to some might be the Evolution II. If you looked at this car and thought it looked like a racecar, you aren’t far off as this was a racecar for the road. I’ll let Mercedes (the car company) explain:
At its debut in 1982, the Mercedes-Benz compact class (W 201) extended the traditional product range of the Stuttgart brand to include a third main line that was positioned directly below the upper and upper mid-size segments. The compact and economical “190s” soon made it possible to enjoy high levels of safety and comfort in the compact segment as well.
The W 201 also appealed to a younger audience. Take the 190 E 1.8, for example, which was powered by the newly developed 1.8-litre injection engine and debuted shortly after the “EVO II” in April 1990.
The super sports car of its time, however, played ball in an entirely different league. This not only held true with respect to the car’s driving performance but also its price: coming in at a minimum of DM 115,259.70, the model cost over three times as much as the 190 E 1.8!
Mercedes-Benz built only 502 units of the 190 E 2.5-16 Evolution II out of a total of some 1.9 million saloon cars from the 201 model series.
The reason for the small production run had to do with the “EVO II” serving as the homologation model for the DTM touring race cars of the same name. Homologation rules specify that a minimum of 500 vehicles of the respective model configuration must be delivered to customers.
Power comes from a 2.5-liter inline-four engine making 232 HP. Power makes its way to the rear wheels via a 5-speed dogleg transmission and a limited-slip differential. This 190E Evolution II has just 1,738 miles on its odometer. The seller says that it was first sold in Germany, registered in the United Kingdom in 2006, exported to New Zealand in 2007, back in the UK in 2015, then finally landed in the States in 2016. Inquire about this car at Mouse Motors, LLC in Illinois.
1998 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution – $31,013 to $58,188
Here’s another homologation special. This story takes us back to 1982, when the first Pajeros hit the road. Just a year later, Mitsubishi entered the SUV into the notorious Paris-Alger-Dakar rally, taking first and second in its class. This kicked off a total domination of the Dakar by Mitsubishi, where it won the rally outright 12 times from 1985–2007, including 9 of 11 times from 1997 onward.
Eventually, Dakar regulations mandated that entrants in the T2 class had to be based on a road-going vehicle. Thus, Mitsubishi built a new road-going Pajero first then built the racer out of it. Enter a crazy Dakar-ready 4×4 with license plates. A 3.5-liter V6 punches 276 HP and 256 lb-ft out to all four wheels through a manual transmission and a two-speed transfer case. The Pajero Evo also wears a four-corner independent suspension with a double wishbone setup in front and multi-links in back. You also get Torsen limited-slip differentials front and rear as well as Mitsubishi’s Super Select 4WD system. This consists of a viscous coupling center differential that loosens up in tight corners to limit axle hop.
In other words, these are serious off-roaders and look mean just sitting still. Some of these are beginning to leak into the United States and I’ve found one that looks to be in exceptional shape.
This 1998 Pajero Evolution being sold by a dealership in Japan has just 55,048 miles and a manual transmission. It also comes with an inspection report showing a condition grade of 4, suggesting that it’s in great condition. For the admittedly steep price of $58,188 to the dealer on Japan’s Goonet Exchange, you can get this car loaded up onto a boat and headed to America. You’ll need an import broker to handle the rest. There’s also another catch in that it had a build month of July 1998, so it’ll have to wait a few months before it’ll be legal to enter the United States. But at least you can drool with me!
If you don’t care about the manual transmission, here’s a 1997 with an automatic for $31,013 that you can import right now.
1991 Lancia Delta 1.6 HF Turbo – $17,600
Here’s a model famous for its racing heritage. If you’re like me, you’ve maybe even driven a Lancia Delta in a video game or two. Lancia has this about the car:
The first generation of the Lancia Delta was created in 1979, when the magic pencil of Giorgetto Giugiaro conjured up a compact two-volume car, developed following the geometric motif of the trapezoid. The votes of the European specialist press, which elected the Delta as Car of the Year 1980, confirmed a success already decreed by the public since its first appearance.
Initially equipped with the 1300 and 1500 engines of the Fiat Ritmo, in 1983 the Lancia Delta adopted the sophisticated 1585 cc twin-cam engine designed by Aurelio Lampredi: the 105 HP Delta 1600 GT made its debut, soon joined by the 130 HP Turbo version boasting the heroic HF brand. Thereby, Lancia decided to resume the prestigious acronym that had qualified the top performing versions which, after the Lancia Stratos, had no longer been used.
Four versions of the Delta outran their opponents in rallies between 1987 and 1992. The Delta HF 4WD had made its debut at the 1987 Monte Carlo Rally: it featured permanent all-wheel drive with ZF self-locking differential at the front, Ferguson viscous centre differential for limited skid and a Torsen-type differential at the rear. A two-litre 165 horsepower engine propelled the standard road models, but the Group A racing version rose to 265 HP at 6250 rpm. The Lancia Martini Racing Team, which dominated the 1987 World Rally Championship, counted on 24 official cars.
Power in this Lancia Delta 1.6 HF Turbo comes from a 1.6-liter turbo four making 140 HP and 141 lb-ft torque. In terms of output, it’s pretty much right in the middle of what was available for the Delta. This is good for a 60 mph sprint in 8.7 seconds and a top speed of about 126 mph.
It’s $17,600 by Vida Motors in Portici, Naples, Italy with 79,535 miles.
That’s it for this week, thank you for reading!
Pajero Evo is a bucket list vehicle, since I have a first gen SWB Montero.
Some day. Maybe some day after I win the lottery if they keep at that pace of pricing.
That 190E makes me think of these two German kids rapping…warning it’s moderately NSFW for language.
That Honda CBX exhaust note is making me horny.
That 190 Evo II is so me it hurts. Also just me or does that CBX sound like a mid-eighties F1 car?
Yeah, but I can’t get over first gear being to the bottom left on the shift pattern.
First to 2nd is basically up and to the right? Ugh.
I think the logic behind it is that when you’re racing, you shouldn’t be going slow enough to need first gear. So they put it over there out of the way.
I find it amusing that that particular car has traveled around the world as cargo far more than under its own power.
Pajero Evo and 190E Evo2
*Cross eyed and drooling*
Well done! These are usually a list of nopes for me, but today’s is a box full of wins.
Lots of evolving going on in the 90s.
“In 1963, when this car was made, the Dart moved to the Dodge A-body compact platform…”
In other words, the Lancer (Dodge’s version of the Valiant) was renamed the Dart.
As i and my dear old Auntie had Valiants and my 2 brothers had Darts I can validate that statement. They all sucked.
I’m fascinated by the idea that ASC just bent the A pillar of the Capri. That must have ruined whatever remaining rollover protection that car had.
I’m wondering about the windshield glass. Replacement glass must be pretty hard to get.
Lancia Delta please… shipping details are on the way.
I wish I could spend my days at work designing a car for my wife so she could park closer to the front door… if I had known that was a thing I would have aspired for a different career path in Elementary school.
Nice picks this week.
That CBX is sweet. Just a little scruffy, but kudos to the owners for riding it. Having those saddlebags is a huge +.
A manual SportCross? Very cool. I would love to find a clean original one of these, even if I’m stuck with the auto.
The Dart would make a great summer cruiser, and seems like a great deal.
I wouldn’t touch that Audi with someone else’s money.
The Merc – if you have to ask (inquire)…..
That Audi is the most reliable Audi you can buy; the 20V I5 is a great engine. The fact you’re shitting on it is proof you don’t know what you’re talking about, bud.
The Dart seems like perfect Californian David Tracy car to replace his winter beater Valiant. The Lexus IS 250/Altezza is a stone reliable 3 Series in the same way the LS was reliable Mercedes.
The Honda CBX is legend from Honda’s we’ll try anything once era.
We don’t do winter beaters here. Not needed.
1963 Dodge Dart GT – $9,495
… that price is so ridiculously good, I honestly am not sure if that is not a scam. Like, seriously. I’m worried that’s a scam. Go check Hemmings listings if you doubt me here. Or Hagerty valuations. A ’63 Dart GT convertible? With a 225? That’s like $15k+ valuation.
Unless it’s got some fairly significant flaws, like the paint’s going to need redone soon or the interior’s mismatched or something mechanical, that’s so much a steal, I’m worried it’s someone stealing from you.
1998 Mitsubishi Pajero Evolution – $31,013 to $58,188
No, nope, nuh-uh, do not buy this at this price. That’s way past the top of market, and these are less rare than you think. A lot less rare.
Mitsubishi made 2,700 of them. “That’s not a lot!” They also made a whole 122 FTO GP Specials and just 370 GPvR Aeros. Want a 3000GT SL Spyder? Only 741 of those. VR-4 Spyder, just 877.
And the Pajero Evo isn’t all that special, either, aside from the busywork. I mean bodywork. Under the hood you find a Mitsubishi 6G74 3.5L, 24 valve, MIVEC making 275HP. The Diamante got a 3.0 MIVEC making 270HP. Uhhuh.
In other words, there’s no world in which you should pay more for a Pajero Evo than an Evo VI Makinen (total production, strictly limited to 2,500. Average prices, around $53k.)
One of you buy it so I can just listen to it go by all day. Worry about price never.
1991 Lancia Delta 1.6 HF Turbo – $17,600
I mean… on the one hand, that thing is mint in every meaning of the word. That color just works, especially with zero rust or damage.
On the other hand, it’s a Delta HF 1.6 Turbo. Not an HF 4WD. Not an HF Integrale.
If you want a Delta HF your insurance won’t demand you store in a hermetically sealed vault with armed guards 364 days of the year, this one’s definitely not a bad pick! You won’t be terrified of breaking a literally irreplaceable screw driving it to cars and coffee!
If you’re buying it as an investment or in hopes that the value is going to at least stay stable? Well it’s a fantastic color, but, it’s a Delta HF 1.6 Turbo. Prices are not going to go up.
This is the Delta you should buy if what you want is a Delta you can enjoy looking at, partake in some mildly spirited driving with, and not wet yourself in terror any time you hear something pinging against metal.
Seriously? The 225 is a desirable engine? I didn’t know but I’m glad to hear it. I’ve always had a soft spot for the leaning tower of power.
That CBX is GLORIOUS, thank you dear Mercedes for gracing my Friday with it.
I heard that!
Really dig the SportCross and especially with the manual conversion. Lexus managed to field a long roof that was both aggressive and elegant in form.
That Evo II is very very cool